I am a 6th-year Ph.D. candidate in Sustainable Development at Columbia University, School of International and Public Affairs.  I am on the job market for AY 2022-2023 and will be available for interviews at the AEA/ASSA.

I work on environmental economics, applied micro, and the digital economy. 

Email: xd2197@columbia.edu

CV (May 2023)

Upcoming trips - please be in touch if you're around!

Job market paper:

This paper provides the first causal evidence that hostile activities online lead to physical violence. Given the recently documented relationship between pollution and social media, I exploit exogenous variation in local air quality as the first step to instrument for online aggression. In an event study setting, I find volatile organic compounds (VOCs) increase by 7% when refineries experience unexpected production outages. Together with higher air pollution, I find more aggressive behaviors both online and offline, as well as worse health outcomes near refineries. A one standard deviation increase in surrounding VOCs leads to 0.16 more hate crimes against Black people and 0.23 more hospital visits per thousand people each day. Second, I consider how emotional contagion spreads through social networks. On days with pollution spikes, surrounding areas see 30% more offensive and racist tweets and 12% more crimes; those geographically distant but socially networked regions also see offensive and racist tweets increase by 3% and more crimes by 4.5%. Nationally, overlooking spillovers would underestimate crime effects of pollution by 24%. My findings highlight the consequences of social media hostility and contribute to the public debate on cyberspace regulation.

Work in progress:


Media coverage: Guardian, Yahoo, Boston Globe, Newsweek, The Nation, Gizmodo, Heidi News, Union of Concerned Scientists